THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION
By Walter Last
In order to become more whole and healed on all levels of our being we need to improve ourselves on all of these levels. Complete healing is not possible by working on just one level. As an example, assume that you are badly overweight. Mustering a lot of willpower you start a diet and are quite successful in losing a sizeable amount of weight. The problem is that after some months it slowly creeps back up again and after a year your weight is again where it started.
Eventually you come across some emotional release workshops and find that these, together with a sensible diet, are more effective to lose weight and keep it off. Nevertheless, you may find it difficult to keep your emotions under control because you still continue to react in undesirable ways. Now you discover that you are influenced by various negative beliefs that make life difficult for you.
You realize that you need an appropriate belief system in order to manage your emotions in an appropriate way. You start looking for a philosophy of life that helps you to become and remain healthy, happy and fit. This is where the spiritual dimension comes in. You will find that the more you adopt spiritual principles in your life, the more life will become an adventure or a pleasure rather than a struggle.
More than any other level, our emotions determine how we feel about ourselves and life in general. Our emotions are not only a result of our social interactions, but also of so-called higher and lower levels of energy and consciousness. On the lower level we have the influences of nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle factors, while from the higher level there is a strong effect from our belief system.
To give an example we may look at the perception of death. If someone believes that after death he is likely to end up in something like hell as described in some religions, he may inwardly panic at the thought of impending death. Even for an atheist the thought of total annihilation may be frightening. On the other hand someone who believes that life after death is more pleasant than that on earth may look forward to the time of death with eager anticipation. The fact of death remains the same for all but our emotional response to it is conditioned by our belief.
Most of us have developed our belief systems haphazardly from our parents, school and social contacts as well as books and mass media. These beliefs are often irrational and detrimental for us.
In order to heal our emotions, as well as all other levels of our being it is essential to adopt a suitable philosophy of life to guide us in this quest. I call this a spiritual philosophy. The various religions appear to have different spiritual philosophies. These differences are most pronounced at the mental level of dogmas and doctrines, while they tend to disappear at the level of the highest ideals of each religion.
In all major religions some followers have aimed for these highest ideals. They are the mystics who left us in their writings a spiritual philosophy that transcends and unites all religions.
WHAT IS SPIRITUALITY
The concept of spirituality obviously means different things to different people. In this book it means deliberately manifesting or aspiring to manifest a higher and purer consciousness. We do this by consciously developing the attributes of true spirituality such as compassion, discernment, faith, high ideals, harmony, joy, inner knowledge, intuition, kindness, openness, patience, self-responsibility, serenity, tolerance, wisdom and a gentle love for All That Is.
Being spiritual is not the same as being religious, which involves following the creed of a proclaimed religion. Someone may be spiritual without being religious and vice versa. Those who are religious become spiritual by following the highest ideals of their religion, while those without a religion follow their own highest ideals and their higher guidance. On the higher levels of consciousness true religion and spirituality merge.
In Christian terms, for instance, we are advised to 'seek first the kingdom of heaven' and all else will be given onto us. In spiritual terms this means to seek first and follow our higher guidance to manifest the signs of true spirituality. Then we can expect health and happiness to result as a natural by-product.
Spiritual development should not be confused with psychic development. Psychic abilities are no measure of spirituality. However, psychic abilities will develop on their own and in a natural way during spiritual awakening according to the need for their use. While neither good nor bad in themselves, psychic abilities without spirituality are like nuclear power without morality; both can lead to disaster.
Neither is spiritual development a quest for altered states of consciousness, though these may occur as natural by-products of deep relaxation and meditation. They can be useful and may provide us with insights as well as beautiful and uplifting inner experiences. However, our main task is at the level of our normal consciousness, and such inner experiences at elevated levels need to be transformed into improved daily living habits.
We become more spiritual by living according to our highest ideals, and by consciously improving our attitudes and feelings. Every moment in our day-to-day interactions provides an opportunity to become more spiritual. We are aided in this endeavor by asking for help from the highest guiding part of our consciousness, which we may call the Higher Self or in Christian terms the Holy Spirit.
THE STRUCTURE OF MANIFESTATION
In the following I like to show an outline of the theoretical basis of our spirituality as I see it. Starting at the most fundamental level, I regard consciousness as the basic ingredient of everything in existence. We may compare consciousness to air, which may be compressed to varying degrees of density in containers of different shapes and sizes. In a similar way, consciousness becomes compressed and may then aggregate to form more complex structures.
Different densities accumulate at separate levels to form an additional dimension based on density of consciousness. I call this the dimension of ‘space-density’. A certain density produces atomic and subatomic particles, while lesser and lesser degrees of density manifest as etheric energy, bio-energy or prana, as feelings and emotional energy, as mental energy and thought forms and finally as spiritual awareness. All of these represent different space-densities that may interpenetrate each other to occupy the same three-dimensional space.
Therefore, there is no fundamental difference between the consciousness of an atom and that of a human it is only a difference in complexity and range of densities. With this, the universe is basically a structure of consciousness acting on itself. Less dense fields of consciousness build, change, discard and rebuild forms from denser fields of consciousness in order to experience and express themselves. The main activity of consciousness is creativity; its highest manifestation on our planet is unconditional love.
We may assume two streams of consciousness. The 'stream of creation' leads towards greater density and less complexity to form atomic particles and the physical universe, while the 'stream of evolution' flows from dense towards less dense structures with greater complexity towards the spiritual universe.
As part of the stream of evolution, consciousness uses the various life forms like water is using a riverbed to flow to the ocean. A life form, be it a species or an individual form is useful only as long as it allows the consciousness to flow through freely and expand. If rigidity develops and consciousness becomes stagnant, then the form has reached old age and will soon disintegrate.
Physics cannot adequately and logically answer the question how all the energy and mass of our universe could have been concentrated in a single point at the start of the 'Big Bang' and what was before. A spiritual theory of creation would say that originally there was no energy at the physical level, that it emerged instead from the etheric level, not so much as an explosion but rather like the crystallization of a super-saturated liquid starting from a seed point. Likewise, it answers also the question of the origin of consciousness that biology cannot answer.
According to this model, our physical universe is a condensation of a less dense etheric universe. Atomic particles are the centers of etheric vortexes, comparable to atmospheric high and low pressure areas. For a more detailed explanation see 'The Science of Spirituality'.
I see the evolution of consciousness on our planet as a multi-dimensional cooperative venture. Consciousness in the form of the growth force is most active in the plant kingdom and works to transform the mineral kingdom.
In the animal kingdom consciousness becomes dominant at the level of feelings and emotions, it is at this level where most of the experimentation and creativity is present. The emotional level channels the growth force into more individualized forms than those in the plant kingdom. A price for this individualization is a more solidified growth force with less regenerative capacity.
Insects are close to plants with only rudimentary feelings, while primates and possibly dolphins are closest to the humans with highly evolved complex feelings. Similar to the evolution in the plant kingdom, which leads to the beginning of feelings in the highest plant species, so the higher animal species acquire a rudimentary capacity for thinking.
By having their emotional energies guided with the help of the emerging mental level, the animal kingdom culminates with the primates channeling their life-force into a nearly perfect form for our planetary conditions. With this, the planetary evolution of the growth force has been further completed and humanity works now on the perfection of the emotional level with the help of the mental level. We use beliefs to experiment with our emotions.
The animal kingdom required a rudimentary mental level in order for the growth force to be channeled into a perfect form by the emotional level. In a similar way, we humans need a level of consciousness beyond the mental level to perfect our emotions. We call this next higher level 'spiritual consciousness'. It evolves through the programming of our higher mentality by the incarnated soul. We may regard our different and evolving group belief systems as the human equivalent of different animal species.
THE NATURE OF GOD
The concept of God can be defined in two ways. We may equate God with consciousness and say God is everything. The consciousness manifested in the various universes, the physical, etheric and so forth up to the spiritual universe are the energy bodies of God, while the non-manifested part might be called the mind of God.
Alternatively, we may only regard the non-manifested universal consciousness as God and this may or may not be focused into what we may regard as a personified being at certain levels of consciousness. For the evolution of our own consciousness the details of what we believe is God do not matter very much at this stage. As part of a spiritual philosophy we may simply assume that the more consciousness becomes condensed, the less it is aware, especially of being a part of God or All That Is.
I see the Oversoul as the creator of our soul and as our personal God or God Self, our individualized representative of the universal aspect of God. Any communication from this more or less divine level can reach our normal human consciousness only by penetrating our mental and emotional levels. These, however, act as filters that will distort and interpret any messages according to our beliefs and emotions.
Therefore, a devout Catholic will receive messages clothed in Catholic symbols, while a Hindu will experience divine revelations according to his religious beliefs. The less strong and structured our beliefs are the less will any higher communication be distorted. The more we expand our consciousness, the closer we are to this higher guidance and the easier it will be to communicate. Disbelief, on the other hand, will block any communication.
A SPIRITUAL PHILOSOPHY
A spiritual philosophy is our basic belief system about the nature of our existence, about its purpose and goal. From this we try to understand our role in society as well as our relationship with any higher or guiding forces, and it gives us the inner strength to follow the spiritual path. Everyone has a philosophy of life, even if they are not consciously aware of it. For some this is just the notion to get as much pleasure as possible out of life while trying to avoid suffering. Others, like various Christian saints and yogi, have deliberately self-inflicted suffering and denied themselves pleasures as part of their philosophy and as a path to their God.
To have a spiritual philosophy means to see ourselves as part of a higher purpose, of a universal blueprint, and we consciously try to cooperate with its unfolding and manifestation. A good spiritual philosophy needs to give us guidance and support on the spiritual path and in our daily interactions and relationships.
In the same way that we can deliberately choose to believe in and follow a certain religion or political party, we can also deliberately adopt a spiritual philosophy that exactly suits our purpose. Normally, this adopted philosophy can be in harmony with our present religion or political views. Just look for the highest ideals and replace any negative aspects with positive beliefs.
The center point of any philosophy of life is the question of meaning or purpose. If we see no specific purpose in life and especially in our own life, then it is quite natural to live for the sake of sense and ego gratification, but we also may easily become depressed by the apparent lack of deeper meaning of it all. In a spiritual philosophy we believe in a higher purpose. We may not know the exact nature of this purpose and it may not even matter. We may say we just want to manifest our own blueprint, or fulfill the purpose for which we incarnated, or just trying to do God's will, or becoming one with God. It may all be the same anyway.
By now you may be rather apprehensive. Basically all you want is to be healthy, have a good life, some fun and generally feel fulfilled and satisfied. You do not want to become a mystic or a saint to achieve this. Luckily, you do not need to. I just painted the big picture to show in which direction we generally have to move. How fast you want to move is entirely up to you.
The Middle Path
The important part is to move in the right direction, however slowly. Suffering comes from moving in the wrong direction, no matter how far advanced we are spiritually. The saint will suffer if he moves in the wrong direction, and the sinner will feel good if he moves in the right direction. That is what it is all about, the right direction.
Indeed, this is a middle path between pleasure-seeking and intentional or unintentional self-inflicted suffering. In this it is like the path of the Buddha. For a long time, the Buddha tried to reach enlightenment through extreme asceticism. He fasted until where he had been sitting he left a mark like the footprint of a camel. Finally, he realized that he was on the wrong path, that he needed his body as a partner and, therefore, had to fulfill its legitimate biological needs, he had to be firm but kind to it. He called this the middle path, and many seekers after him found it to be the right path for them.
In the same way, our spiritual philosophy should help us to feel good in body as well as in mind and spirit. Suffering is only for the ego. If instead we identify more and more with the spirit or our higher self, then life will be correspondingly easier and more fun - at least that is what we start out believing and wonder whether it will turn out to be true.
Our basic premise is that we attract or become what we believe in. Assuming that the universe contains all possibilities, all shades of good and bad, right and wrong, desirable and undesirable, it is so much more attractive to believe in a benevolent universe than in a vindictive one, in a God of love rather than a God to fear. This spiritual philosophy of the middle path says that we can choose and have what we want, we just must firmly believe in what we want and act accordingly.
However, there is a catch. We must be careful what we choose and from which level of our consciousness we choose. If we let our ego choose, we generally choose wrong. This means we choose something selfish for which we have to pay later. If the ego chooses pleasure now, we will suffer later to pay for it.
If, on the other hand, we let ourselves be guided by our highest ideals and the inner voice of our higher guidance, then we will choose a path that leads us to gradually increasing and lasting happiness, without having to pay for it with later suffering.
The simplest and safest choice is that we want to fulfill the purpose for which we incarnated and just want to do the will of God. Of course, we do not really know our purpose or the will of God; at least not consciously with our mind. The good thing is that we do not need to know, we just can let ourselves be guided step by step, one step at a time, by listening to our spiritual guidance or by following our highest ideals. This is called 'living by faith' or 'going with the flow'.
Awakening the Inner Christ
Gradually, this living by faith will allow an inner seed of the divine to awaken and grow within us. Like a hologram, this seed is a miniature reflection of God and the universe. Fully developed, this seed will become the risen Christ. We will then live in the Christ and the Christ within us. This is the promise of those who know.
Expressed somewhat differently, we may say that we, as a living soul, now have become the perfect vehicle for our High Self or Christ Self. The Christ Self can then begin to manifest the will of the God Self, the 'Father'. Like Jesus, who became the Christ, we can then say: "I and the Father are one."
We may actually see the life of Jesus as a symbolic enactment of the inner journey that we are all sooner or later called to perform. The crucifixion symbolizes the death of our ego, and the resurrection, the birth and ascendancy of the inner Christ. By becoming the Christ we have finally redeemed our original sin - our separation from God.
I also have a different interpretation to religious doctrines that regard the human aspect of Jesus as the Son of God. Instead I regard the Christ who arose in Jesus as 'the only Son of God'. I understand that Jesus generally referred to himself as 'the Son of Man' rather than 'the Son of God'.
We awaken and nourish the Christ within by building a spiritual body composed of a higher emotional body and a higher mental body. This we do in a similar way to building a biological body from the food we eat, by building an emotional body from our feelings and emotions or a mental body by constructing belief systems with thoughts and ideas.
The nutrients we need for our spiritual body are spiritual feelings and spiritual thinking. With spiritual feelings, such as devotion, unselfish love, compassion, inner peace and divine bliss we build a higher emotional body. This combines with a higher mental body that we build through spiritual thinking with high ideals, pure motives, a spiritual philosophy, discernment and spiritual knowledge. This spiritual body or light body allows our High Self or Christ Self to fuse more and more with the soul so that the soul eventually becomes an expression of the Christ. This is the same principle that previously caused the personality to become an expression of the soul.
Stated in a different way, we may also regard the Christ Self as the Inner Master. With this fusion of soul and Christ Self, the personality of the soul can now be expressed as a spiritual master. However, this expression is still limited by being channeled through a biological brain. After discarding the biological body, the Christ consciousness is then able to express itself much more freely as an Ascended Master.
If we look much further into the future, then we may assume that the Christ Self will eventually merge with the God Self. With this, the 'I AM' that originally started out building itself a personality to become a living soul and eventually an Ascended Master, will now have returned to its source and become a God.
In this process we see the two opposing forces that keep the Wheel of Life turning. One is the individualizing tendency of the I AM, its ego, which prompts it to build a body and acquire its separate identity, while the other is the unifying tendency or the Christ principle, which compels it to return to its source.
You may sometimes wonder how all the different spiritual and religious beliefs, often contradicting each other, can possibly lead to the same goal. Surely, only one can be true. But then consider the following parable.
Imagine that different points of the compass represent different beliefs. There is a high mountain with a brightly shining light on top, marking the goal for countless climbers on all sides of the mountain. Those who are on opposite sides of the mountain actually walk and climb in opposite directions of the compass needle and yet they all progress towards the same light.
Below the climbers there are an even greater number of seekers who do not see the light itself, but believe in its existence because of what some of the temporarily returned climbers have told them. Groups of seekers follow some of the more experienced climbers back up the mountain. These are those who seriously follow a particular religion or spiritual leader.
Finally, the great majority of people live in the jungle surrounding the mountain without even seeing the mountain itself. Those living close to it know of it but generally do not move much closer to it. These are the uncommitted followers of various religious beliefs. Those far away from the mountain do not even know of it or believe in its existence.
The active climbers who actually see the light are those well advanced on the spiritual path. They all start from different positions. They may be on different levels and proceed in different directions but they all move closer to the light.
Expressed in Christian terms we may say God, as the Father or Parent aspect of Divinity, created powerful spiritual beings, the 'Children of God', as co-creators on the denser levels of consciousness. In Christian terminology they are the 'Son' aspect of Divinity. Collectively they created our own world. Some of these Children of God, also called Monads or Oversouls, projected parts of their consciousness into denser forms, to create Soul Families. Because of the great difference in the levels of consciousness between an Oversoul and its Souls, the High Self or Christ Self was created as a mediator between both. The Souls eventually created even denser forms at the etheric level, which gradually became the human races. They did this in order to experience more closely the interactions of the various forms of life on earth.
However, Souls gradually became entangled in the lower consciousness of their dense forms. In mystical understanding this is the 'original sin', the 'fallen angel', the 'lost paradise'. In order to free itself from this entanglement of part of its consciousness, the Soul, guided by the High Self and the Oversoul, sends out successive projections with improved programming in a chain of 'reincarnations'.
With each projection a new and different personality is programmed, taking the experiences of the preceding personalities into account. Therefore, from the point of view of a personality, we cannot really say that we are reincarnations with former lives. This would be as if a picture, painted by an artist, assumes that it has previously been another picture, painted by the same artist. Instead, each picture is a unique new creation.
With this, reincarnation as a general principle applies to the Soul but not to the personality. There are, however, exceptions. The American psychiatrist Ian Stevenson investigated and published a series of cases that show conclusively a reincarnation of the same personality with memories, birthmarks and injury marks directly from a preceding life.
However, these cases involved violent death at the prime of life before the programmed life task was accomplished and immediate rebirth in a baby born at the time of death. According to Tibetan tradition the Dalai Lama and some other important lamas reincarnate in the same exceptional way.
After the separation from the physical body that we call death, the personality remains individualized for a further period, clothed in its astral or mental and emotional bodies. Finally it is reabsorbed or reintegrated into the consciousness of its Soul as part of our overall life-stream, and the Soul forms another projection.
Hypnotic regressions seem to indicate that the incarnating Soul projection becomes only gradually attached to the fetus. While it may be close to the mother already before conception and guide the earliest development of the fetus, commonly it starts entering it only during the second half of pregnancy. Even after birth it still continues to fuse more closely with the baby.
The entanglement that keeps this process going and from which the Soul tries to free itself, is called 'karma'. This means a personality or its followers reap the consequences of its actions, and even of thoughts and feelings. We reap what we as well as those before us have sown. The deliberate attempt of a personality to free its Soul from karma or entanglement of consciousness is called 'the spiritual path'.
VEGETARIANISM AND SPIRITUALITY
The ideal of vegetarianism especially in its relationship
to spirituality originated in
However, our metabolism and food requirements have evolved according to our genetic background. Those who originate from cold climates or have blood group O, or have inherited or acquired a weak sugar metabolism, have non-vegetarian requirements for optimal health. Often this involves quiet, sensitive individuals with low blood pressure and a lack of energy. These may experience a conflict between their body needs and their ideals. With the following explanations I want to show that this conflict is not necessary.
Indians have predominantly vegetarian body requirements. They must pacify mind and emotions with plant food and may have great difficulties progressing spiritually on a non-vegetarian diet. Most Christian mystics and saints, on the other hand, were not vegetarians and neither was Jesus according to the Bible. As stated in some scriptures, even the Buddha did not insist on a meatless diet, only to abstain from the meat of carnivorous animals. Due to their cold climate, Tibetan Buddhist monks were often non-vegetarians. All of this may indicate that vegetarianism is not a prerequisite for spirituality.
However, there is a relationship between vegetarianism and spirituality. Meat makes body and feelings less sensitive, and meat-eaters with a slow metabolism become more insensitive to higher energies and spiritual influences. Fruit, on the other hand, has a beneficial cleansing and sensitizing influence on these people. Nevertheless, those who are already too sensitive may become ungrounded and open to unfavorable psychic influences on a fruitarian diet and even lose touch with physical reality. Some flesh food will help these individuals to 'come back down to earth'.
For those who aim mainly at dwelling in altered states of consciousness, preferably under competent guidance, a fruit-rich vegetarian diet will be of great assistance in loosening the ties between the physical body and its higher vehicles. It may also make it easier to receive messages from the higher self in the form of visions or voices.
However, on the spiritual path greater psychic sensitivity is desirable only in the context of a balanced development on all levels. Our main aim is to become more spiritual in our daily interactions and in our normal state of consciousness. The exploration of altered states of consciousness is only secondary.
A vegetarian diet is pacifying and, therefore, conducive to meditation and contemplation, but it may leave some of us unable to work efficiently in this world. Therefore, we must strike a balance in our diet selection between our goals and our body condition. Generally speaking, the diet best suited for our spiritual development is one that leads us towards optimal health.
We do not become more spiritual, that means more loving, understanding and wiser simply by being vegetarians, although compassion with the plight of farm animals is a step in the right direction. However, our body requirements will gradually change on the spiritual path as the body is transformed and we learn to utilize higher forms of energy.
In this way, even those of the non-vegetarian body type will eventually be able to maintain good health on a more or less vegetarian diet. The proper path in this direction, however, is a diet that is in harmony with present body requirements.
Gopi KRISHNA in his book 'Kundalini' gave a vivid account of his long-time suffering, because his body was not strong enough for the tremendous energy streams raging through his system. He finally realized that he could only save his body and become well again by starting temporarily to eat some meat.
Rolling Thunder, a Red-Indian spiritual leader is a meat-eater and so was Edgar CAYCE who said in essence: "Spiritualize these influences rather than abstain from meat (for this particular body of the questioner). Not what goes into the mouth but what comes out of it may defile the spiritual body."
While cruelty to animals is often cited as a reason in favor of vegetarianism, those who consume milk or eggs contribute to cruelty if they use eggs from battery hens or milk from cows or goats that have been prematurely separated from their offspring.
The Animals' Point of View
Now I want to consider the animals' side of the problem. That the animal eventually will be killed obviously does not trouble it during its lifetime. If it were not for human consumption, most farm animals would not have a chance to live in the first place. If these animals had a free choice, most of them would probably prefer to live and eventually being killed rather than not to live at all. Actually, I am sure even many humans would prefer a quick death like that of a humanely slaughtered farm animal as compared to the slow disintegration that may await them with some of our degenerative diseases.
However, what is decidedly wrong with our present system is that animals are commonly raised under unnatural and degrading conditions and may meet their death in fear and even terror. This is not necessary and only due to commercial interests and the general indifference to the plight of farm animals. But this often applies also to the production of milk and eggs that many vegetarians use.
Therefore, if animals are reared with loving care and in a natural way as it befits their species, and then killed in a humane way, there does not need to be any suffering for the animal. As Rolling Thunder explained it in essence: "When I am going to shoot a deer, I know beforehand where I will find it and also the animal knows that I am coming. But it is not afraid, it is waiting for me and it does not suffer when I shoot it."
With this, the animal actually sacrifices itself for a 'higher need'. We may regard the killing of animals for human consumption as a sacrifice by the animal world, as also we humans may sacrifice ourselves for some higher purpose, or as the vegetable kingdom sacrifices part of itself for consumption by animals and humans. Each kingdom evolves through this close contact with the next higher one and by nourishing it.
Furthermore, killing does not only pertain to animals. Also plants are living beings, responding to love and hate. Therefore, the difference between killing a cabbage, a fish or fowl, is only one of degree in the evolutionary chain.
Of course, most people would be happier to kill a cabbage than an animal (with the exception of insects and rodents). But I suggest that those who cannot function very well as vegetarians should accept this sacrifice gracefully and without guilt and in return work for a better deal for our animals. Nevertheless, it may be in the best interest of spiritually minded individuals to minimize the use of meat, especially from mammals, in preference to seafood. As our race becomes more spiritual in the future and bodies change, vegetarianism will become universal.
OUR SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION
Living spiritually is our day-to-day, minute-to minute effort to live according to our spiritual beliefs. Our body with all of its problems is an important partner in this quest. It shows us where to start and what to do, helping us to become ever more conscious of all aspects of ourselves.
Healing our body, mind and emotions is in itself part of our spiritual evolution. Even if you do not otherwise intend to live spiritually, you do so anyway by healing yourself on these levels. There are many different definitions of what it means to live spiritually or following the spiritual path, as you may have already noticed. One of them sees it as our effort to develop our full potential of health and happiness, starting with the body and the problems that we have right now.
I am convinced that by living in total harmony with the biological, emotional, mental and spiritual laws that govern us, we would be close to perfect; we would personify the risen Christ. Therefore, all imperfections, usually manifesting as problems, show us what to do to become more spiritual and, with this, more happy and fulfilled.
Starting at the biological level, we may have a health problem, possibly a specific disease. This disease has one or more causes, usually on several levels. Just trying to ease symptoms with palliative care is not a spiritual solution, although we can use the disease to practice cheerfulness in adversity.
With our spiritual quest we try to discover and overcome the causes for the disease. We experiment with nutrition, cleansing and other natural healing methods, we improve energy flows by softening armored muscle structures, release suppressed negative emotions, and we may use regression and reprogramming, guided imagery and meditation. Chances are that the disease will more or less disappear and at the same time we have substantially progressed on the spiritual path.
The same is true for any of our other imperfections and problems, be it a rigid and aging body, lack of meaning in our life, unsatisfactory relationships, worry and resentments. Just keep part of your mind in observer mode and be aware of whatever you are doing. If you catch yourself worrying about something, that is your problem to work on, worry is a negative attitude and you need to change your approach. Do what you can to get the problem fixed and then leave it to faith, use prayer and meditation to strengthen your faith.
If you catch yourself having an unkind thought about someone, immediately make an effort to send a kind thought to that person. If you believe someone has harmed you, realize that this person is just a weak human and needs your help. Be angry if you feel that way but let it out in a suitable manner, and when you have calmed down, perform a deliberate mental exercise to forgive and send love. That is the spiritual way; you can do it all the time.
Learn to laugh about yourself when you make a silly mistake or break something. You would laugh if it happened to someone else, try it for yourself, it makes life much easier. Taking ourselves too seriously shows that we are dominated by our ego.
It is said that no one is an island; we all are in it together. We interact all the time, and helping our brothers and sisters is the most important part of interacting. We cannot help by preaching or trying to convince somebody. The most effective way is to be a living example of your spiritual beliefs. Try to live as an example. Be forgiving, be kind, try to do the right thing at the right time but if you mess up, do not worry, you are not expected to be perfect, try again.
As your consciousness expands, you may realize that your job or your partner is no longer in harmony with your beliefs. Visualize and pray for a suitable solution and keep your eyes open. You do not need to go out of your way to look for opportunities to help others. Just be aware and do your best whenever you come across something, your guidance will arrange the opportunities for you to learn and help. Do not blame yourself or anyone else if something goes wrong, making mistakes is the best way to learn. We need to make mistakes, learn from them, that is the spiritual path.
Specific ways of life have been devised through the ages to facilitate the growth of a spiritual body. Foremost in this are prayer and meditation, especially as part of monastic life. In a related form we have the yoga of devotion or bakthi yoga and the yoga of action or karma yoga in which we dedicate our life to unselfish social work or healing. Also rituals, such as performed by the Orthodox or Catholic Church and by secret societies and New Age groups, can provide spiritual food. When we deliberately set out to awaken and build a body for the inner Christ, we are said to be on the spiritual path.
If you have different ideas about spirituality, the meaning and purpose of life and the nature of God, just follow your own beliefs. In order to heal yourself with the methods on this website it is not necessary to accept my particular philosophy. I only offer it as a possibility for those who are still searching.